This risotto is the apotheosis of Autumn.
The colors, the scent, the flavors of autumn (or at least this is what autumn means to me) are all concentrated in this awesome creamy risotto.
In every bite you will have the slightly crunchiness of the rice with the creaminess and sweetness of the purèed squash and the soft flavorful aroma of the Porcini mushrooms.
About the mushrooms
If you have available fresh Porcini mushrooms at your local market (or if you feel adventurous enough to go mushroom hunting as I used to do) I highly recommend them. You can really taste the difference against the frozen or dried ones.
If you used dried Porcini mushrooms, remember to let them re-hydrate in hot (not boiling) water for at least 30 minutes. Before adding them to the risotto squeeze well and roughly chop them.
About the pumpkin
I used a Butternut Squash but you can try it with whichever pumpkin/squash you like. I tried this recipe cooking the pumpkin in 2 different ways: boiled and roasted. Boiling the pumpkin is much faster as it takes about 20 minutes, but the flavour will be softer. To roast it I just cut it in half, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and it takes about 1 hour in the oven at 180°C (350°F). When cooked, let it cool down, then scoop it out with a spoon. The flavour of the roasted pumpkin will be more intense.
This recipe is better tasted in a cold rainy day. It will make you feel cozy and will warm you up from the inside.
You’ll put it in the list of favorite autumn comfort foods!
- 3 medium fresh or 20g (0.7 oz.) dried, Porcini mushrooms
- 300g (1+1/3 cup) Pumpkin flesh or purèe
- 1 Garlic clove, minced
- 200g (1 cup) Risotto rice (Carnaroli)
- 1/4 cup of White Wine
- 2-3 cups Vegetable Stock
- 2 tbsp Heavy Cream
- Black Pepper
- Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Butter
- 2 tbsp Parmesan Cheese
- First of all start by cooking the pumpkin, see above post for suggested methods. (If you have the canned purèe, you're one step ahead).
- In a pan, drizzle the olive oil and add the minced garlic clove. Turn on to medium heat. When it starts to fizzle, add the chopped Porcini mushrooms (after you carefully cleaned them) and sauté for a couple of minutes. Then add the rice and let it toast for 2 more minutes.
- Pour the white wine and let the alcohol evaporate, then turn down the heat to low and add a cup of hot vegetable stock. Once the liquid is absorbed, add more stock and repeat until the rice is cooked.
- Meanwhile, purée the pumpkin and add it to the risotto halfway through the cooking (about 8-10 minutes).
- Add also the heavy cream and mix well. When the rice is "al dente" (it should still have a bite, but it shouldn't be crunchy) turn off the heat, add the finely chopped parsley, black pepper and finish with a tablespoon of butter and Parmesan cheese to make the risotto super creamy and delicious!